Earth Day Mindfulness Practice: Exchanging The Breath

Exchanging the breath is a beautiful meditative breathing practice that encourages people to mindfully consider their connection with each and every person and living thing on our earth. It is deeply calming and healing.

1. Find a comfortable seat or other position. Take a few moments to relax your body and make sure that nothing is disturbing you such as your clothing or eyeglasses. Close your eyes and focus on your breath coming in and out through your nose.

2. As you inhale let your belly soften and expand, and as you exhale gently draw your navel in towards your spine.

3. Once you find a steady and comfortable rhythm for your breath begin to imagine that with each inhalation you are receiving the breath as a gift. Feel yourself fill with gratitude as you recognize that the breath you are taking in is the same breath that is being shared with each person in the room, each person in this world, and even the animals and plants are breathing the same air as you.

4. Now with each exhalation give the breath away as a gift. Be gracious as you exhale completely recognizing that you are sending the breath on to another soul who needs it. Continue this pattern of breathing in with gratitude and breathing out with grace.

This breathing activity can be done by one person in a room, by an entire group of people together, or with a partner. If you are going to practice or lead this in partners, you would want to be more specific in your visualization,and imagine sending the breath back and forth to each other. This can be very healing after an argument or misunderstanding.

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